Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu arrested and charged with drink driving.

Sam Worthington, Fox Sports

A miserable week for Australian rugby has got even worse after Wallabies and Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu was reportedly found slumped behind the wheel and charged with drink driving.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Latu was found sleeping behind the wheel near Rugby Australia headquarters in Sydney around 4.30am on Thursday.

It is alleged that police then stirred him and Latu recorded an alcohol reading of 0.135 — a mid-range offence under New South Wales law.

The newspaper also reported that police will allege Latu was driving on a suspended licence and that he will front court on June 6.

Despite the report, Latu surprisingly came off the Waratahs bench and took the field in Saturday night’s cracking Super Rugby clash with the Reds in Brisbane, making a turnover in the final play of the 40-32 win.

He had not told his employers about the early morning incident and Latu will now return to Sydney to face the music instead of staying in Brisbane for this weekend’s Wallabies camp.

The Waratahs said they found out about the incident via the newspaper report.

“It is disappointing to hear when any of our players behave in such a fashion,” Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said.

“It’s taken us by surprise and I’ve got to obviously ascertain all the facts and go from there.

“It has been an emotional week…

“I was pretty disappointed to only learn of it so close to the game.

“That’s the disappointing aspect as a coach.

“I’m sure there’s a number of things that he needs to say to the team.”

Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore said Latu was still eligible to play “under the code of conduct” and that he was informed about the incident on Saturday afternoon.

“We checked with SANZAAR and with Rugby Australia in and around the facts we did have and there was nothing we could clarify that it was a breach of the code of conduct,” Hore said.

“As far as we are aware, he’s an innocent man until there has been a formal investigation. “You have to be fair.

“We went through all the processes.

“When you find out late in the piece, it makes it really tough…

“Of course we talked to him today.

“Even then you have to go through a formal process before you can do anything.

“That’s the difficult part.”

Former Wallabies and Waratahs star Drew Mitchell said it was surprising Latu hadn’t informed his employers about the charge.

“But of course he’s probably a little bit worried about how it’s going to be received, maybe the impact it’s going to have on the team,” Mitchell said on Fox Sports.

“It’s inexcusable, if it turns out to be true, to be drink driving.

“Andrew Hore’s a nice guy but I’m just tired of hearing from CEO’s, we’ve heard too many interviews from CEO’s of late — we’d love to be talking to the players more.”

Another former Wallaby, Justin Harrison, said Latu was entitled to due process.

“He’s been charged with something, it’s an alleged offence — we need to let it play out,” Harrison said.

“He’s probably not realising the importance of reporting something that could potentially be in the public forum very quickly and out of control.

“So we just need to be patient now and see hopefully, if there’s a reasonable excuse for it.”

Before the match, Wallabies and NSW great Phil Kearns said the Latu news wouldn’t affect the Waratahs in their performance.

“Rugby players are a bit weird — I don’t think it’ll have any impact whatsoever,” Kearns said.

“They’ll just completely block that out of their brains and they’ll just focus on the game.

“Maybe after the match a few of the boys might tell him what a moron he’s been in his actions, if that’s true.”

The timing is awful for the Waratahs and rugby’s image after Wallabies and NSW star Israel Folau was sacked on Friday following his controversial social media posts.

“The last thing they need is something like that,” former Wallabies captain George Gregan said on Fox Sports before the match.

“It’s something which will be dealt with in coming days and the coming week but they’ll have to knuckle down and just try and focus on the job.

“They’ll be all aware within that team environment — coaches, players, management — it’s really important that they try and focus on getting a really important victory over there at Suncorp.”

Latu, 26, has played 12 Tests for the Wallabies but his Rugby World Cup selection hopes now look grim.

He has been plagued by on-field discipline problems throughout his career and was banned for six weeks this season for a dangerous clean-out on Sunwolves flanker Ed Quirk.

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